Is there anything more ridiculous than putting on the architect of the dark and ghastly radical castle called the Daily Kos to denounce extremism and irresponsible rhetoric? And yet that's exactly what Keith Olbermann did on Tuesday night's Countdown -- he brought on Markos Moulitsas.
He didn't ask about the Kos blogger who compared Virginia attorney general (then-candidate) Ken Cuccinelli to a dragon that "can be killed." Or the one where we are oblivious to America's reign of terror? Olbermann didn't even ask Moulitsas about his own disgust that Obama shouldn't have pushed Van Jones out to placate conservatives because "you don't negotiate with terrorists."
Nope, these two routinely vituperative political communicators lectured about the absurdity of conservative victimhood at the hands of MSNBC and other liberal outlets:
OLBERMANN: So, if you report irresponsible rhetoric, that`s far more irresponsible than if you exploit and expound irresponsible rhetoric.
MOULITSAS: Yes, that`s pretty absurd, obviously. I think the problem for Republicans and conservatives is that they don't want the world to see what their so-called populist uprising really is all about.
When people get a really good look and they see the violence, they see the hatred, the bigotry, the sexism, racism, it obviously reflects very poorly on Republicans. So, they`d rather that the media not report on them so that they can continue to rile them up in private and secretly, as opposed to out in the public where everybody can see it.
OLBERMANN: Why then did they not take advantage of a freebie? I mean, last week, when the Republicans -- and the Democrats wanted the Republicans to stand with them on Capitol Hill at one news conference to denounce violence, the Republicans chose not to. Even being anti-violence is now a partisan issue?
MOULITSAS: Yes, I mean, this is how crazy Washington, D.C., has gotten these days. I think bottom line is -- again, is that if Republicans were to call out this sort of violent extremism that they would actually be calling out the significant and key portion of their base, and then they'd have Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity and those guys would come down on them. So they're afraid to criticize their base, because that base has some really strong and powerful supporters in the conservative media.
So, that's why they`ve sort of, I think, have to keep their mouth shut, even though people on our side of the aisle, you know, progressives, we condemn all violence against whoever it may be directed at. I think it's all bad for politics. It's not good for our democracy, and I wish it would all end.
OLBERMANN: Agreed. Amen. It has no point directed in any direction, and nor does the threat of it, nor does even the suggestion of it, nor does the implication of fear about it.
Then...it got a little weird. Olbermann tried to use Norman Leboon's death threats against Rep. Eric Cantor and his allegedly demonic children against conservatives:
OLBERMANN: But this -- there is a political context for this. And when it turns out the congressman, that the minority whip, Mr. Cantor, has been targeted -- is that a political vindication for him? Or is it more vindication for the Democrats and the media, that the problem actually exists and it exists in a bipartisan way despite Mrs. Palin's attempt to dismiss as ginned up and bunk?
MOULITSAS: There is some bipartisanship. I mean, this guy who threatened Cantor also threatened Barack Obama and he actually also threatened the pig from "Babe," right? So, he`s not even bipartisan. I think he transcends partisanship. I mean, this guy, I guess, threatens everybody.
But -- I mean, bottom line is that there's a party that fetishizes guns, that celebrates militarism and aggressiveness, and we all know which party that is. So, it`s hard for the Republicans to back down from that because it is, to the core, the essence of who they are.
It's hardly shocking that these two men would skip over Leboon's 500-dollar donation to Barack Obama. But it's quite low for Moulitsas to claim that his side doesn't "fetishize" guns, it puts flowers in guns. So that gives him free rein to call the other side terrorists and monsters.